By LaTina Emerson
After working in healthcare for a decade, Grace Bendinger (B.S.N. ’11, M.I.S. ’21) was looking for a way to improve patient care on a broader scale. With the Master of Interdisciplinary Studies in Biomedical Enterprise she’ll receive this fall from the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State, she’ll be doing just that.
A native of Houston, Texas, Bendinger received a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Georgia State in 2011. She was a recipient of the Goizueta Foundation Scholarship for outstanding undergraduate students of Hispanic heritage, and went on to work as a registered nurse, concentrating in oncology care.
Later, she was able to impact thousands of patients as a senior nurse manager at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University.
“I really wanted to move into a sector where I could make a significantly larger impact, where I could really work toward improving the way that we care for people and their health,” Bendinger said. “In doing so, it brought me to new medical and health technologies, whether it’s a new pharmaceutical or a vaccine or different technologies that can impact the health of populations.”
When Bendinger selected the Biomedical Enterprise program at Georgia State, it was through “very meticulous and intentional selection,” she said.
While most graduate programs are focused on one subject, she chose this master’s degree because it pairs science with studies in law and entrepreneurship. Through the program’s partnership with the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute (ENI), she was also offered an opportunity to pursue a graduate certificate in Artificial Intelligence Business Innovation.
As part of her coursework, she spent the past summer interning at Biolocity, an accelerator that provides seed funding to Georgia Tech and Emory University researchers who want to commercialize their technologies. The experience led to her current position as a consultant with the National Institutes of Health’s Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative, which was launched to speed innovation in COVID-19 testing.
“I’m getting the opportunity to work with teams who are doing work at a national level,” Bendinger said. “Everything that we’ve done in our program, I’m putting it to use now. It’s prepared me for the rapidly changing landscape of healthcare today, and even more for what healthcare will be in the future.”
Photo by Carolyn Richardson